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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Despite signs of stagnation from the EEA’s two major economies, the latest available Eurostat data showed that as late as December 2019 the unemployment rate in the EU (6.5%) continued on the downward course it began at the start of the series (2000), marginally and stably exceeding those of the US (4.2%) and Japan (2.4%). [Eurostat (February 2020) Unemployment rates by country, December 2019 update].

These assumptions held true at the time the proposal was initiated (Jan 2020), but research soon showed that a 4/5 of the global workforce was affected by the Coronavirus pandemic in Q1 of 2020, and that large reduction of working hours may affect Europe (7.8%) in the following Quarter.

A TRANSNATIONAL ISSUE Within the Union, inter-national and intra-national employment rate differences are extreme and, at times, on the rise. One demographic segment in particular, the young adults aged 15 to 29 epitomises the NEET phenomenon, one bearing profoundly troubling consequences on the socio- economic fabric of some Southern and Eastern countries.

To this end, BUCOLICO aims to address a structural problem, likely to be heightened by the lockdown of the world economy, i.e. low labour force participation among marginal groups and areas via social and local development interventions.